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Catholic Activity: St. Canute's Day

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A thousand years ago in Sweden, King Canute declared that Christmas would last a month, from December 13, the feast of St. Lucia until January 13, or Tjugondag Knut (St. Canute's Day).

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Contrary to most other countries, Scandinavia has different days which are considered to end Christmas: Epiphany and St. Canute's Day.

In Aland St Canute's Day is definitely looked upon as the day when the Christmas tree is thrown out, burned and the decorations tucked away. This special tradition is still very much alive.

St Canute's Day is the feast day of the Danish king Canute the Holy, which was originally on 7 January, that is the day after Epiphany.

Epiphany has on the whole considerably longer traditions. This was the day when Christmas ended in the 17th century. To prolong Christmas St. Canute's Day was moved in 1708 to 13 January, which still today remains Canute's name-day. However this was limited only to Sweden and Finland.

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